How to avoid wildfire risk in the current drought

TEXAS (KETK) — It’s no secret that wildfires have been raging across the Lone Star State for the past few weeks due to the current drought and extreme heat conditions.

At times like these, it’s important to know how to avoid contributing to these fires because even the smallest spark could ignite and very quickly become a much bigger problem.

According to the Texas A&M; Forest Service (TAMFS), the agency has responded to 66 wildfires in the past nine days alone, with more than 9,948 acres burned across the state. Fuels specialist Weldon Dent said drought and rising temperatures have led to increasing fuel drought and an increased risk of wildfires.

This means Texans should be extra careful with all outdoor activities that could cause a spark, including grilling, outdoor cooking, fireworks, and the use of electrical equipment.

Even trailer and tire safety is important, as roadside fires can often be started by dragging trailer chains and flat tires over rims. Dent says even taking a few extra minutes to make sure your trailer chains are secure and checking your tires before a trip to the lake could make all the difference in preventing a wildfire from happening.

Additionally, it is essential to check local burning restrictions before engaging in outdoor activities involving open flames.

TAMFS reported that 195 counties in Texas have enacted burning bans, which is the most the state has had since November 2011. That year, Texas was devastated by wildfires and the agency has responded to 3,312 fires that burned more than 2.9 million people. acres. This year alone, TAMFS responded to over 1,100 wildfires, which burned over 483,000 acres.

“It’s more critical than ever for Texans to help keep Texas safe this summer by obeying local burning bans and restrictions and avoiding outdoor activities that could cause a spark,” Dent said.